More than 400 pubs closed in England and Wales over the course of 2021, at a rate of roughly 37 per month being demolished or converted for other uses.
Analysis of official government data by real estate adviser Altus Group revealed that the number of pubs liable for property taxes and business rates, including those vacant and being offered to let, fell by 444 to 40,173 in December, compared with 40,617 the year before.
Although recent data showed a steadying in the sector after pub numbers tumbled dramatically by 914 in 2018, with 446 disappearing in 2020 and 473 in 2019, it remained that 2,277 have vanished over the past four years, forecasting consistent losses for the years to come.
According to government figures, the South West and North West regions had the highest number of pubs at 5,739 and 5,361, while the North East and Wales had the lowest numbers at 1,983 and 3,060.
Although support measures for the hospitality industry including furlough, business rates holidays and rent moratorium have helped to reduce the number of insolvencies during the past two years of the pandemic, the reduction of government financial relief packages in recent months and the limited nature of the chancellor's latest announcement in response to Omicron potentially pose more threats.
Grants of up to £6,000 per premises in England for premises, announced on Tuesday, were described as "too little too late".
Robert Hayton, UK president at Altus Group, said: "It remains to be seen what impact Omicron has on numbers next year as this could be the straw that broke the camel's back for many."